Related Insights

Joint Civil Society Statement on UN Special Rapporteur Report

The undersigned civil society organizations and independent experts work to promote human rights and press freedom online. We welcome the report of the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression on the use of encryption and anonymity in digital communication (A/HRC/29/32), which was presented at the UN Human Rights Council on June 17.

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Short-Changing Debate on Cyber-Surveillance Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that there would be an effort to attach the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, CISA to the Defense Authorization bill that is now on the Senate floor. This move would almost certainly stifle necessary debate on the privacy and civil liberties problems in the bill and thwart amendments that Senators have been crafting to address those problems. CDT outlines the main issues with the Senate cybersecurity legislation.

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Oppose Amendments to Weaken & Delay USA FREEDOM Act

Yesterday the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048) cleared an important Senate hurdle and is now headed for a vote on final passage. But first, amendments to the bill will be considered. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed four problematic amendments to the USA FREEDOM Act – without permitting any amendments to strengthen privacy or transparency – all of which may be voted on as soon as tomorrow morning. If the amendments are added to the USA FREEDOM Act, CDT will oppose the final bill.

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Coalition Letter Opposes Bills Aimed at Patriot Act Reauthorization

A broad coalition of spanning the political spectrum submitted a letter of opposition to separate leaked proposals from Senators Burr and Feinstein to modify surveillance laws in the wake of the Senate narrowly voting down the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015. Both proposals would extend PATRIOT Act authorities without ending domestic bulk collection or providing critical FISA Court transparency, while giving the government new powers to require private companies retain user data to aid surveillance.

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Oppose Senator Feinstein’s “FISA Reform Act of 2015”

After the US Senate narrowly voted down the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 (H.R. 2048), Senator Feinstein introduced legislation that would also modify surveillance laws. Senator Feinstein’s bill, titled the FISA Reform Act of 2015 (S.1469), would not end NSA bulk collection, would impose a data retention mandate on private companies, and does not address the problem of secret law. The Center for Democracy & Technology urges opposition to this bill.

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Oppose Senator Burr’s “FISA Improvements Act of 2015”

After the US Senate narrowly voted down the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 (H.R. 2048), Senator Burr floated draft legislation he described as a “compromise” to address overbroad government surveillance of Americans. Senator Burr’s draft bill, titled the FISA Improvements Act of 2015, would not end NSA bulk collection, does not address the problem of secret law, would impose a data retention requirement on private companies, and expands government surveillance without a court order.

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Electronic Communications Privacy Act Primer

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 is a federal statute that specifies standards for government monitoring of cell phone conversations and Internet communications. When first written, ECPA was a forward-looking statute that provided important privacy protections to subscribers of then-emerging wireless and Internet services. However, while technology has advanced dramatically in the decades since ECPA was enacted, the statute’s privacy standards have not been updated, leaving important information without full protection. Meanwhile, the courts have been slow in extending the warrant requirement of the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment to new technologies.

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Comments on Exemption to Prohibition on Circumvention of Copyright Protection Systems for Access Control Technologies Under 17 U.S.C. Section 1201

CDT, along with numerous leaders from academia, submitted comments to the US Copyright Office on the exemption to prohibition on circumvention of copyright protection systems for access control technologies under 17 U.S.C. Section 1201. This document includes the comments, as well as a statement on the legal impediments to cybersecurity research.

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Cybersecurity Information Sharing Bills Fall Short on Privacy Protections

CDT opposes the two cybersecurity information sharing bills that are coming to the floor of the House of Representatives today, April 22. The Protecting Cyber Networks Act and the National Cybersecurity Protection Advancement Act were both overwhelmingly approved in committee and are expected to pass in the House. This analysis will provides background information about cybersecurity and details how the bills would work. It points out problems in particular provisions of both bills,

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